A Guide to the Best Museums in the World


Museums preserve and safeguard some of the world’s most valuable art and history objects. But they also inspire curiosity by helping visitors understand the past, present, and future. They offer a variety of experiences from exploration to self-reflection, which is why they are visited by millions of people every year. Whether you are fascinated by ancient Egyptian treasures or the masterpieces of the Dutch Golden Age, our guide to the best museums in the world will take you through the most impressive collections on display.

The word museum comes from the Greek museos, meaning “container” or “keeper of treasures.” This definition holds true today, as we still see many museums housing priceless art and historical artifacts, which are used to educate and entertain the public. Some of these museums even offer tours and workshops for guests to learn more about the history behind the objects they are viewing.

In recent years, museums have been changing to meet the needs of their audiences. For instance, the Louvre in Paris has increased its security and taken steps to improve visitor flow to prevent crowded conditions for its visitors. This approach is a sign of the shift in museum role to include greater engagement and inclusion for all people.

A new museum definition has been approved at Icom’s General Assembly in Prague this week. This definition is more focused on a museum’s purpose of “preserving the past, probing the present and preparing the future.” Its structure includes a statement of purposes, tools to achieve these purposes, and people needed to operate the museum.

It also includes a specific reference to the importance of museums in a global context, and addresses the need for museums to be inclusive and open to all. In addition, it stresses the need for museums to communicate and engage with their communities, and to make their services sustainable.

This new definition is a welcome departure from previous museum definitions, which often seemed to focus on the size and nature of a museum’s collection or on how it was displayed. It focuses on the museum’s overall mission, making it easier to compare and contrast museums worldwide.

The new definition also makes it clear that a museum can be an institution of any type, including a not-for-profit, permanent, not-for-profit or private, cultural, or educational organization. It can be independent or part of a network and may be located in one building or multiple buildings. It must be accessible and open to the public and be operated and maintained ethically, professionally and with the participation of the community.

Another difference is that it no longer excludes a museum for-profit organization, which is not only common but necessary in some countries to support the museum’s work and programs. For example, some museums have shops, restaurants and membership to raise money for operations such as acquisitions, programming and building.

Several of the world’s most-visited museums are for-profit, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the Louvre in Paris. However, many museums in the world are not-for-profit and provide a unique service to their communities.